Creative Direction: Brittney “Izzy” Isbell
Mom to Be: Paris Williford
Photos: Ashley Johnson
məˈtərnl | adjective

A few weeks ago while in New York I was being interviewed by Madia Hill Scott for CRWN Magazine. The sun was gone, my feet were tired, and through the dizzying sounds of Afropunk she asked, “what does sisterhood mean to you?”

After a few sentences I made my way to the word “maternity.” And immediately recalled memories of caring for others as a sister and being cared for by a sister.

Maternal is defined as, “relating to a mother, especially during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth; denoting feelings associated with or typical of a mother; motherly.”

There are so many rivers that can flow into maternity. Interchangeable are the words friend and sister, friend and mother, mother and sister; To be a sister is to be a friend to an exponent—and vice versa. And within that exponent is the infinite.  I have stood in the gap for my own mother to care for younger sisters both by blood or by journey. I have been cared for in maternal ways by my older sister. I love my friends as a mother; to be a woman is oftentimes an instinctual need to rescue, protect and guide to safety—a responsibility to see love through which is a sometimes weary yet satisfying service.


When Paris announced she and her beaux Aaron’s pregnancy in our group chat we each catapulted into a outpouring of disbelief, excitement and envisioning a dynamic in our sisterhood which would now include a little life.

During our shoot, we each unified under this new future—rooted ourselves deeper in each other and the collective protective love that sisterhood/motherhood/true friendship connotes. This editorial serves not only an announcement of Aaron and Paris’ gift, but a celebration of sister and maternal womanhood from the womb and beyond.  

My friends, my sisters, they’re often my eyes, my guides and my conscious; they embolden me to be my best self—as all good friends should. Like windows they flow freely and like mirrors they discipline. They are ushers, angelic embodiments on earth. My friends, my sisters, they are everything maternal.

Here is a story about some of mine.


Need more? Check out the entire album at the link below!



The Keys:

We didn’t want anything to detract from Paris’ natural beauty. After all, moms aren’t glam 100% of the time. Izzy suggested highly pigmented, creamy lids; and we focused on bringing out the natural health of her skin with added enhancements for brightness pitched by Hali. Together we pulled together a recipe for the ultimate dewy—non greasy—natural skin. Products included (in order of application):

Glossier “Super Bounce Serum | $28
M. Roze Essentials “Face Beam” Moisturizer | $32
BB Cream
Glossier “Boy Brow” | $16
e.l.f shadow palette x Vaseline for shine | < $15
Fenty Beauty “Trophy Wife” Highlighter | $34
Simple beauty supply store lip gloss | $1

Cornrows by Izzy
Make Up by Izzy + Hali

Location: Reynolda Gardens

Florals and Greenery: Trader Joes + wild flowers picked on site.

No stretch marks were removed in the processing of these photos.